Tuesday, May 3, 2022


The New York Times newsletter The Morning has a brief but helpful discussion of the Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, with links to many sources.

I looked at the text of the draft, here and there. The four points I found most chilling:

~ The characterization of Roe as the imposition of “the same highly restrictive regime” on the nation. To characterize a decision that affirms an individual freedom as the imposition of a “highly restrictive regime” suggests to me the “Freedom Is Slavery” logic of 1984. Access to abortion does nothing to restrict anyone’s right not to have an abortion.

~ The insistence that the question of abortion be left to the individual states. What further questions of individual freedom might now be left to the individual states to decide? The right to marry? Access to contraception?

~ The absence of the words incest and rape. The members of the majority are unwilling to acknowledge circumstances for which even some zealous opponents of abortion are willing to allow exceptions.

~ The long appendix of nineteenth-century statutes criminalizing abortion at all stages of pregnancy. From Texas, 1854:

every such offender, and every person counseling or aiding or abetting such offender, shall be punished by confinement to hard labor in the Penitentiary not exceeding ten years.
We are going backwards.

comments: 4

Chris said...

Alito is a nasty political hack and it's not hard to imagine his smirk when he wrote this opinion, but it's important to understand how chilling the philosophy (or ostensible philosophy) behind it is. The whole Enlightenment idea that human beings have inherent, inalienable rights is being rejected. Rights, according to this thinking, devolve from authority, whether it's religious, monarchical, or "democratic" authority. Anything not included in the Constitution, verbatim, is subject to the tyranny of the majority as expressed in their state legislatures. Pluralism, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, become meaningless. And of course we will have no end of brutal legislation aimed and controlling and punishing women, little of which we are likely to see reversed in our lifetimes.

Michael Leddy said...

Well said. The idea that a majority in a given state can strip individuals of rights — we know where that leads.

Zhoen said...

States Rights - it's a lever to allow slavery. If you can remove women's rights, you can remove the rights of anyone not white, male, 'christian' and rich enough to own property. It's removing the outcome of the Civil War - that state law cannot remove rights that the fed allows. Turning it all back to colonial standards. Abolish citizenship, unless you are CISWhiteMaleChristianWealthy. New Royalty, aristocracy, oligarchs.

“Royalty was like dandelions. No matter how many heads you chopped off, the roots were still there underground, waiting to spring up again.

It seemed to be a chronic disease. It was as if even the most intelligent person had this little blank spot in their heads where someone had written: "Kings. What a good idea." Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for that, Zhoen. I hope there are enough of us who refuse to bend.